Today's my birthday and I'm spending the day goofing off with Collin--so today's post will be a re-posting of my latest post from my author blog....
I’m always amused when, upon hearing I’m an author, a new
acquaintance responds with, “I might write a book myself.” As if it’s
the easiest thing in the world to do. It’s not. Traditionally published
authors have to put up with getting small percentages of royalties (if
you even get that far), having to write at night while working at a
full-time day job (I didn’t, but I lucked out–I had a really good
agent), delivering a manuscript only to be told it will need extensive
revisions and/or rewrites and holding your breath while you wait to see
how good or bad the reviews and sale turn out to be. Self-published
authors deal with a lot of criticism, not being taken seriously most of
the time, and trying to write while also marketing their own work. No
In short, your ego can take a major beatdown, no matter which way you go.
I much prefer the new breed of publisher, like Creativia, my current
publisher. I have full control over what I write…though what I’m
“writing” for them at the moment is reissues of my backlist books, which
means reformatting text lifted from the pages of the published books.
I’m too lazy and too slow on the keyboard to retype them, and don’t have
backups of the originals that are compatible with current technology.
I’ve had mixed feelings about even bothering to republish the old books.
They were originally published back in the ’80s and ’90s, and trends
were quite different then. The five books originally published by
Berkley–Dance of the Gods, Angels at Midnight, A Time for Legends, Solitaire and Luck of the Draw–were
written and published at a time when the big, glitzy romance novel was
king. Now, that’s not so popular. My nine series romances are a big
question mark. Is that genre still selling?
I don’t expect to have a second run at the bestseller lists with any
of them. I’m content to have them reissued and maybe make modest sales
while putting my chips, so to speak, on the newer works. Chasing the Wind (2008) and Final Hours
(2009) are not exactly new, but definitely more recent. The latter was a
gamble; I knew that when I wrote it. A male protagonist who’s an
adulterer isn’t a hero by any stretch. Chasing the Wind,
however, is the basis for what I hope will be a series. Time will tell.
These days, it takes me much longer to write a book than it used to.
Sometimes, I think my mind wandered and got lost!
The worst part, I think, is working on a book for months or years
and, nearing completion, discovering you got it all wrong and having to
start over. This is what happened with Sam’s Story. It was a
difficult book to write, because while Sam has been gone for over five
years now, it’s painful for me to even think about him without tearing
up. He was with us for almost all of his twenty-one years.
The first draft was too short. The second, I discovered, was too much
of a downer. I wanted the story to be fun and uplifting. So a few days
ago, I started over. I took a different approach and it seems to be
working. The story is coming easily, flowing smoothly. For how long, I
Recently, I saw the cover for a foreign edition of Luck of the Draw on the internet. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t even know it had
any foreign sales! I don’t remember signing a contract for it. I’ll
have to check with my agent. I probably signed the contract and just
forgot about it. That sort of thing happens more often than I care to
admit. It wasn’t exactly my agent’s favorite of my books. If Berkley
hadn’t given me a contract for an untitled, unknown fifth novel, I doubt
my agent would ever have sent it to them. I’m surprised she sent it out
to any foreign publishers. It’s more of an historical suspense novel
than a glitzy romance.
I also discovered a review of Dance of the Gods that had
been posted a few years ago. When a review starts with “I consider
myself a connoiseur of bad romance novels…” you can be sure it’s not
good news. But I wish I could find the link again. It was actually
pretty funny. Like most established authors, I’ve learned to not take
bad reviews personally. Nobody can please everyone all the time, and bad
reviews are a fact of the author’s life. You deal with it and move on,
if you want a career in this nutty business.
Some of us used to compare bad reviews to see who got the worst. And we cried all the way to the bank, as the saying goes.